You might say that the doctor treats the disease, and the nurse treats the patient.
The MD assesses, diagnoses and orders meds & follow-up treatment slanted from a "hard-science" point of view. That is, if "Pill A reaches a certain level in the blood for a certain number of days, it will effect absence of disease." Bravo; his job is done.
But the nurse's job is to respond appropriately to changes in patient condition. The nurse may intervene directly and implement nursing orders as necessary. Or, if appropriate, the nurse may respond to the change in patient condition by calling the doctor for medications that refine and individualize treatment of a disease.
Nurses respond holistically, intervening with social, spiritual, or psychological support, in addition to "hard" science. Nursing goals promote patient health and well-being, and are not limited to simply eliminating a disease.
Because we respond on a very practical level with hands-on care, as well as the intellectual & experiential tasks of assessment and intervention, this gives the public the mistaken notion that "anyone can do this job."
Perpetuating that myth is the standard of confidentiality and nurses' nonconfrontational-enabling type personalities, and it's easy to see why the public perception has yet to be corrected.
Naturally, the doctor needs good diagnostic skills, but in order for the nurse to respond appropriately, so does the nurse.
That's what makes us professionals, not service workers.
So whaddya think?
agree or no?